n South African Journal of Surgery - Maxillofacial injury : a retrospective analysis of time lapse between injury and treatment in a South African academic maxillofacial and oral surgery unit : maxillofacial surgery

Volume 51, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



The study was undertaken in an academic maxillofacial and oral surgical unit in a large quaternary hospital attached to the Medical School of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, between 2002 and 2006.

To investigate the number of days in seven patient management intervals from facial fracture occurrence to discharge from hospital, to gain insight into reasons for treatment delays.
Facial fractures were treated a mean of 20.4 days from occurrence. There was a mean of 10.3 days from fracture to hospital presentation, and an identical period from hospital presentation to treatment. Statistical analysis showed that delay times decreased from 2002 to 2006.
More rapid referral to the maxillofacial and oral surgical unit is the most practical way to reduce delays further.

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